Choosing the best type of towel

Choosing the best type of towel

Practical, frequently-used items such as towels are often an afterthought when you're furnishing your home, but they shouldn't be. High-quality towels really are an investment - they'll last longer, hold their shape when washed, and absorb moisture better.

How to choose the perfect towel

Think about the types of towels you'll need to suit your lifestyle. Do you have kids, go to the gym regularly, or entertain at home? Next, consider what colours or patterns will suit your bathroom décor. Do you want to liven the space up with brightly-coloured towels, or are you going for a high-end hotel vibe with pure white towels?

Signs of a quality towel

What are the signs of a quality towel?

100% cotton towels are the softest and most absorbent on the market, but don't be fooled by the super-soft towels in the store - towels are often treated with a fabric conditioner during manufacturing. This coating wears off after a few washes, and your towel should become more absorbent as a result.

Thickness is also important. While thicker towels are usually more absorbent, they also take longer to dry, which may not be ideal if you live in a colder climate or don't own a dryer. For ultra-absorbent towels you can't go past Egyptian cotton, but these do tend to be a little more expensive. The weight of towels is measured in grams per square metre, or GSM, with a higher GSM indicating a plush, more luxurious towel.

Remember, high-rotation towels, such as face washers and hand towels, should be changed and washed regularly to prevent bacteria build-up, so it's a good idea to have a few spares stashed away.

Different types of towels

What are the different types of towels?

Face washers

Face washers - also known as washcloths, or flannels, if you're from New Zealand - are one of the most versatile items in your linen press. Apart from their obvious utility for cleaning grubby faces and hands, face washers can be used to soothe a bumped head or, if you have a young bub, you can freeze a damp face washer for a great makeshift teether.

Use face washers to remove makeup and face masks, or freshen up before a big night out. And a quick tip if you or your teenager have acne - don't use your best face washers with a benzoyl peroxide-based acne treatment, as it has a tendency to bleach any fabric it comes into contact with.

Hand towels

Hand towels are an affordable, easy way to give your bathroom a makeover for special occasions, or when you're entertaining. Whip out one of your most luxurious Egyptian cotton hand towels when you have the boss over for dinner, or pop a festive hand towel on the rail for some extra Christmas cheer.

Bath towels

When it comes to drying yourself off after a bath or shower, you can't go past the bath towel. Choose towels with a higher GSM for better quality, and don't throw your towels out when they're looking a little tired. Old towels are great for defrosting the deep freezer or mopping up spills, and animal rescue centres are always crying out for donations of towels to use as blankets for their furry residents.

Bath sheets

Ask any tall person and they'll tell you a standard-size bath towel simply doesn't cut it when you're trying to dry a long body! A bath sheet is essentially a super-sized bath towel, usually measuring approximately 90 x 165cm. Perfect for adults and taller teens, a fluffy bath sheet is the ultimate bathroom indulgence.

Beach towels

Beach towels are an Aussie summer staple. With a range of funky prints including popular children's characters and sports teams available, beach towels also make a great present for that niece or nephew who has everything, or a practical addition to a baby shower gift.

Find the perfect towels for your home online or in store at Harris Scarfe.